Coverage of the recent upsurge in fighting in Afghanistan has generally been of the gloom and doom variety with the World Terrorist Media mimicking Eeyore, AA Milne's character in the Winnie the Pooh books.
Woe is us, the terrorists are back, they're shooting again, we've lost, the sky is falling, all is lost, we can't win, woe is us.
Actually, the renewed fighting is evidence of an overlooked but very important victory in the War on Terror. Historically, after the attacks of 9-11 we went to Afghanistan because we had direct evidence that Al Qaeda, headed by Osama Bin Laden, directed the attacks.
They were headquartered in Afghanistan, were in league with the Taliban, the Muslim extremists who were running that country at the time, and we had some allies in the Northern Alliance who desperately needed our help in fighting against the Taliban. So we teamed up with the alliance and beat the living tar out of the Taliban, setting the stage for the first popularly elected government in Afghan history.
As the tide of battle turned against them, which was virtually from the time we fired our first shot, Al Qaeda fighters quickly migrated to Iraq where Saddam Hussein's regime gave them sanctuary, medical treatment, and training camps to rebuild their terrorist network and launch new attacks against the west and the US.
So, George Bush authorized the invasion of Iraq. This went against the wishes of most European governments, as well as China and Russia, at the Untied Nations, primarily because high level officials in most European governments, as well as China and Russia, and the Untied Nations, were being handsomely bribed by Saddam Hussein.
But we went in anyway, knocked the tar out of Saddam's army, including its terrorist brigades and its vaunted Republican Guards. To counter this second victory, the Islamo-facists began sending terrorists to Iraq both to fight the US, and to stir up ages-old animosities between Islamic factions inside the country.
But we persevered, kept killing the terrorists in huge numbers, and set the stage for Iraq to create its own democratically elected government, which now is in place and rebuilding a national army and police force.
Even though the WTM focuses on daily car bombings and sectarian violence, the fact is, Iraq is moving ahead, problems are being solved and it also has become a dangerous place for the Al Qaeda terrorists and their loosely knit alliance of similar-minded nut jobs.
So they are leaving Iraq and heading for greener pastures in ... Afghanistan?!
This is a victory simply because if the terrorists had been succeeding in their quest over the past five years they would have their pick of countries where they could relocate. So far, the only option they have, other than trying to hide out in the rugged mountains in Afghanistan, is Somalia, which has to be hell on earth.
Even though there is renewed fighting in Afghanistan, it is not going well for Al Qaeda or the remnants of the Taliban. They kill a couple of soldiers or policemen, then lose a hundred. They don't have that many fighters to begin with and losing them at that rate is a dangerous and flawed strategy.
Apparently, Osama, or whomever is running the strategy for Al Qaeda these days, is hoping that renewed fighting will not play well politically in America, will be portrayed by the WTM, the ATM and the opposition party as a defeat, resulting in the election of politicians who advocate disengagement.
It isn't working, and the death of any terrorist (or guerilla) organization is to engage in head-to-head fighting against conventional forces, especially if the terrorists don't have the support of the populace. Al Qaeda does not have popular support, and the absence of options in other Muslim countries is prima facie evidence of that.
I guess I should excuse the WTM and America's opposition party for their ignorance. As it stands now, if you include all the active duty military personnel, as well as all American veterans, we only constitute about 7 percent of the populace. That means 93 percent of Americans, including most of the opposition party, have no first-hand knowledge about military matters, especially strategy and tactics.
But rather than continually trotting out tired, worn out, discredited no-nothings who glory in saying the first thing that comes to mind, it would help if the WTM and the ATM occasionally interviewed someone who has real military knowledge and no political axe to grind.
Novel concept or what?
Friday, September 15, 2006